Bertie, a 58 year old hippo at the Denver Zoo – the oldest captive hippopotamus, has been euthanized after suffering from failing health. He is survived by his 12 year old son, who also lives at the Denver zoo. In natural habitats, hippos can live to be up to forty years old and fifty years in captivity.
According to GeoBeats News:
At 58-years old, Bertie the hippopotamus was the oldest member of his species that lived in an officially recognized North American zoo.
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According to the press release, he was euthanized by zoo veterinarians on May 4th after they observed “a significant decline in his quality of life due to his advanced age.”
Hippos typically live as long as 50 years in a zoo and around 30 to 40 years in their natural habitats.
Bertie had shown a loss of appetite, difficulty walking, a decreased interest in training sessions, and a lower willingness to venture outside his pool area.
Though zoo keepers tried treating him with medications, they ultimately realized that he would likely not improve due to his advanced age.
He was just 2-years old when he arrived at Denver Zoo as its very first resident hippo at the end of 1958.
Since then, he has gone on to father every hippo born at the facility for a total of 29 offspring.
His 12-year old son is the only remaining hippo at the zoo.
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